Queensland Rugby announces transformative $1 million philanthropic partnership

Fri, Jun 17, 2022, 8:45 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit
Brett Clark, Ivana Lolesio, Steve Wilson AM, Kaitlin Shave and David Hanham at Ballymore. Photo: QRU Media
Brett Clark, Ivana Lolesio, Steve Wilson AM, Kaitlin Shave and David Hanham at Ballymore. Photo: QRU Media

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) is delighted to announce passionate Rugby advocates Steve Wilson AM and Dr Jane Wilson AO have pledged a multi-year $1 million gift to the QRU Foundation.

Motivated by the dreams of Queenslanders to perform at their very best on the global stage, the Brisbane couple will be supporting the QRU’s extensive redevelopment of Ballymore, as well as the deployment of a new Development Officer for the fast-growing Moreton Bay Region.

Steve and Dr Jane Wilson commenting on the philanthropic partnership said: “We are proud to partner with the QRU to support the aspirations of Queenslanders in the run-up to some of the biggest sports events on the planet.

"We believe in the power of Rugby Union and all sport to positively influence lives, and we encourage the youth of Queensland to step-up for Australia on the global stage.”

To the best of the QRU’s knowledge, this is the largest-ever donation to Queensland Rugby. 

The Wilson gift will have a transformative effect on the trajectory of Rugby as Australia prepares to host the third biggest sports event in the world, the 2027 Rugby World Cup. Further, with Australia hosting the British & Irish Lions in 2025, the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029 – the young people of Queensland have reason to dream big in readiness for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

QRU CEO David Hanham said: “The Wilson partnership will have a direct and immediate impact in the community through the deployment of a dedicated QRU Development Officer for the Moreton Bay Region. 

"This new role will offer the young people of Moreton Bay the opportunity to participate in a sport which can deliver them to the very pinnacle of international sport, literally in their backyard.”

In addition to the Moreton Bay Development Officer, a portion of the Wilson gift will be attributed towards the redevelopment of Ballymore and the National Rugby Training Centre (NRTC), which has been jointly funded by the Queensland and Federal Governments. 

With construction underway, the QRU Foundation is raising funds to ensure the NRTC is truly a world class facility, one that will empower the next generation of international athletes - in particular Rugby Sevens.

Combined with all Queensland Reds representative teams, the NRTC will for the very first time provide the first dedicated home to Australia’s Women’s Rugby Team, the Wallaroos.

Alongside fellow visionary QRU Foundation donors, the Wilson’s are advancing Rugby, Ballymore and the State of Queensland towards gold medal success at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

A current Rugby Australia Board Member, Dr Jane Wilson AO is also a benefactor of the Women’s Sevens Talent Identification strategy, which aligns with Dr Wilson’s joint passions for Women’s and Community Rugby.

QRU Chairman, philanthropist, and Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games Organising Committee Member Brett Clark said: “The QRU is immensely grateful to Steve and Jane for their extremely generous pledge, they have shown great leadership and as a donor to Rugby Union myself, we will ensure that every dollar of their support will change lives, delivering a legacy for Queensland both on and off the field.”

Steve Wilson AM added: “Jane and I fervently believe that the greatest advantage of participating in sport is that it helps every person prepare for life’s challenges – it’s all about the advancement of young people. Sports participation is one of the reasons Australia is such a successful society, the values, teamwork, resilience, discipline and meritocracy.”

Gifts over $2 to the QRU Foundation are fully tax-deductible via the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF). Should you wish to make a donation towards the redevelopment of Ballymore, gifts can be made online - CLICK HERE

For a confidential discussion regarding a multi-year gift to the QRU Foundation, please contact Ben Thurlow, QRU Foundation & Philanthropy Manager at benjamin.thurlow@redsrugby.com.au

Background information

Steve Wilson AM has held a 40-year career in the investment industry in Australia and the United Kingdom. He led stockbroker Wilsons and established investment management companies Hyperion (1996) and Pinnacle (2006). A founding member of the Queensland Rugby Union Foundation, Steve is also Chair of Racing Queensland and the Committee for Brisbane Advisory Board. He previously chaired South Bank Corporation, St John’s Cathedral Completion Fund and Queensland Rugby Union and was a Director of Telstra, Tourism Queensland and Councillor of QUT. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011 for services to the finance industry and community; the BDA Gold Medal award for his role in transforming South Bank; and honorary doctorates from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University.

Dr Jane Wilson AO holds a medical degree from The University Of Queensland and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Jane is the Co-Chair of the Australian Government Advisory Board on Technology and Healthcare Competitiveness, a former Guardian of the Future Fund, Australia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, a Non-Executive Director of Sonic Healthcare Limited, Transurban and Costa Group Holdings Limited. Jane was previously the Deputy Chancellor of The University Of Queensland, and a Non-Executive Director of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, Opal Aged Care Limited, BUPA Australia Limited, Energex Limited and The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. With a lifelong passion for Rugby Union, Dr Wilson is extensively involved in the sport throughout Queensland, both personally and through her family. Joining the Board of Rugby Australia (RA) in 2021, she has been RA’s representative to Oceania Rugby since 2022.